Man with axe arrested at Birmingham vigil for Manchester terror attack victims

People were paying tribute to those who lost their lives in last night's terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert

Police have arrested a man with an axe at a vigil held in Birmingham in tribute to the victims of last night’s terror attack in Manchester.

Last night (May 22) saw a terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester leave 22 people dead and 59 wounded following an explosion in the foyer of the Manchester Arena venue. Fans were leaving the show when a bomb was detonated by a suicide bomber. The lone attacker died in the explosion from what is said to be a home-made bomb. The bomber has since been named and ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Vigils have taken place all over the UK to honour those killed and injured during the Manchester attack. At the Birmingham vigil, an arrest was made, with the police confirming that they arrested a 39-year-old local man on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon. The individual – who was known to police and has a history of mental health problems  – was allegedly in possession of a “small axe” as well as a “large stick”.

Superintendent Andy Parsons has said: “Officers spotted the man acting suspiciously and spoke to him. At this point they have arrested him. The man was carrying a bag, and as a precaution, Victoria Square where the vigil was being held was cleared for around 15 minutes. A small axe was recovered along with a large stick.  We will be interviewing the man to understand his intentions after mental health experts have assessed his condition. I’d like to thank people for the calm and collected way in which they responded to the incident. The professionalism of our officers who responded to the incident is also commendable and indicative of British policing.”

Anyone with any information concerning the Manchester terror attack is asked to call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline in confidence on 0800 789321.

For anyone experiencing mental health problems, you can find help and more information at www.mind.org.uk